What Happens If I Answer A Robocall?

Learn how automatic robocalls work to protect yourself from getting scammed

What Happens If I Answer A Robocall

What are robocalls, and how can you stop them?

We’ve all received a phone call from an unknown phone number that had recorded voice on one end. It’s referred to as the”robocall. The goal of an ad-hoc call is to get you to give money or private information. You’ve probably noticed that they’ve become more common in recent years , as internet technology has advanced in phones. Spammers are now able to call hundreds in one go without much effort or cost.
Another problem is that they’re getting more and more difficult to identify before hitting the green button. You may have been the victim of these annoying pre-recorded messages or are considering what happens if I answer a robocall? This article can assist you in understanding the way that automated robocalls work in order to safeguard you from being fraudulently contacted.

Table of Contents

Answering a Robocall

What happens if I answer a robocall?

What happens if I answer a robocall? The call center Auto Dialer is a software program that dials numbers automatically for calls that are outbound and thus removing the users (typically agents in call centers) from having to manually dial numbers manually. Auto dialers come with basic capabilities. They dial automatically and can tell if calls were answered by a human or answering machine, and they are able to play a recorded message or connect calls to agents for them to take over the call.

What are Robocalls?

Robocalls are telemarketing calls that are not solicited. They are recorded calls made to landline home phones and any autodialed or recorded calls, or text messages sent to emergency numbers, wireless numbers, or rooms for patients in healthcare facilities. In most cases the calls are unwelcome and are illegal.

Are Robocalls Legal?

In general, unless a business is granted your written consent it is against the law to call you by robocall, particularly in cases where the caller is attempting to sell you something. However, there are exceptions. As per the Federal Trade Commission(opens in a new tab) These types of robocalls can be permitted under the law:
  • Messages that are solely informative provided that the caller isn’t trying for you to buy something.This can include calls about cancellations of flights, for example or reminding you of an appointment or notifying you about a school’s opening delay.

  • Debt collection calls. Businesses who want to collect debts can utilize robocalls in order to contact you. However, robocalls that attempt to offer you services in order to reduce your debt are not legal and likely to be frauds.

  • Landline phone calls that are political insofar as they include the required specific information.

  • Phone calls from various health professionals for example, pharmacies reminding you to refill your prescription.

  • Direct messages from charities directly. If a charity contracts an individual to call for its behalf, except if you’re a prior donor or a member to the charitable organization, that call is unlawful. Also, they must provide an automated feature that lets you unsubscribe from any future calls.

What To Do When You Get Robocalls?

Few things are more irritating than ringing your phone while engaged in something and getting a call from a recording.
If you receive a call offering to sell you something (and you’ve not provided the caller written permission) is it a criminal call. The caller should hang up the phone. After that, you can file a complaint to the FTC and the National Do Not Call Registry.

How Are Robocalls Dangerous?

Although the calls used be mainly for political or sales calls, they’ve recently been deemed to be more risky. “The YouGov survey commissioned by CPR Call Blocker, also found that 13 percent of U.S. adults have been victimized by a call scam. For those who were scammed, more than half (48 percent) reported that they’d lost between $100-$10,000 in the process while 4% had lost more than $10,000.”
One particular scam has gained national attention due to its use of the well-known Verizon advertising slogan “Can you hear me now?” Its widespread presence and the possibility of causing financial damage. As per an article by USA Today published March 27 2017 “The Federal Communications Commission Monday issued a consumer warning against these fraudsters. When a caller responds “ ‘Yes,” they will hear the robocall and their answer will be recorded. This information is used to authorize fraudulent charges through the phone to the victim’s utility or credit card according to the FCC states.”
The article goes on to say “Robocalls are the top complainant for the FCC from the public. It’s not surprising that every month U.S. consumers are being bombarded by approximately 2.4 billion robocalls” claimed FCC chairman Ajit Pai last week during the FCC’s March meeting in which the commission decided to start a rulemaking process to end the robocalls.

What are the Examples of spam robocalls?

  1. Unsolicited calls from those who claim to be from an official government agency or financial institution and public utilities. These companies will never call you unless they’ve previously communicated with you via other methods or you’ve contacted them.

  2. Unsolicited phone calls soliciting your personal information, like passwords, account numbers, and even your mother’s maiden names.

  3. Calls to pitch free product trials, cash prizes, low-cost vacation packages, credit relief, investment options with low risk and more that appear too appealing to be true.

  4. For immediate payment, you must use an exact payment method, like a prepaid debit card, iTunes gift card or wire transfer.

  5. The standard “Your vehicle’s extended warranty is about to expire” call we’ve all received at least fifty times.

How to Stop Robocalls

There are a variety of ways you can end robocalls to yourself or an individual in your family. This includes:
How to Stop Robocalls
Do Not Call Registry
  • When you register with the FTC's National Do Not Call Registry, you should stop receiving sales calls. You can voluntarily register your phone number, and companies must check the list before making sales calls. It is free and your registration does not expire. Where the Do Not Call Registry falls short, however, is that scammers don't comply with the registry.
Call blocking and call labeling
  • Even if spammers change up their numbers or call you under a false name, you can block numbers as they come in. Your phone service may offer to block suspected robocalls automatically or to label them as spam. You can also download apps that screen calls, such as YouMail or RoboKiller.
Reporting spam calls
  • You can file a complaint with the FTC via the Do Not Call Registry if a sales call is coming to you unsolicited or the caller is harassing you. The FTC tracks the numbers of scammers even if they're coming in under fake identification.
Nothing at all
  • One of the most powerful moves you can make in the face of robocalls is to do nothing at all. That's because interacting with robocalls such as answering them, pressing a number or speaking to a live person (even to tell them to stop calling you) will likely just lead to more robocalls.
What To Do If You Fall for a Robocall Scam

What To Do If You Fall for a Robocall Scam?

However, not everyone is fortunate. A few people are victims of these frauds. Here’s how to respond in the event that you are a victim of the fake robocall.

What to do if you shared credit card/bank information

Make contact with your bank as soon as possible and describe what transpired in full detail, including the nature of the fraud was and what information you gave. If the fraud has already taken place, your bank or credit card issuer could assist you in getting a reimbursement.

What to do if you shared your Social Security Number (SSN)

If you are able to provide the fraudster with your SSN Take action immediately. The first step is to check the credit rating to confirm that your accounts are in good order. After that, place an alert to fraud on your credit reports to make sure that the credit bureaus verify your identity prior to taking any credit. Contact the office of inspector general’s hotline for fraud at 1-800-269-0271 or file an online report.

What to do if you shared password/ user info

Change your passwords and PINs. Make sure to change your passwords for all of your accounts including online bank accounts. In this way, you will minimize the chance of fraudsters taking your personal data as well as using your bank account to conduct illicit transactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Robocalls could lead to identity theft. While some robocalls can provide us with valuable information, like reminders for refills on prescriptions and flight cancellations, the majority are from scammers hoping to get our information.

If the caller does not hang up, it’s confirmed that your phone number has been verified as “active.” The companies or scammers that verify your phone number as “active” will start planning scams or even sell your number to companies.

Typically, unless there’s background noise the telemarketer will presume the dialer’s automatic system failed and did not connect to the phone number prior to actually making the call. The typical scenario is that the telemarketer will call and say “hello at least a couple of times before marking the call as “No Answer”.

What exactly is a robocall alert? A robocall is an indicator by your mobile phone to let you know that you could receive a fraudulent call. There are warnings for robocalls, where the name of the contact or the number will usually be displayed upon receiving a call.

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